In Mt. Hood Forest, Little Crater Lake is a pristine oasis that’s a total hidden treasure. Much like its big sibling, Little Crater Lake in Oregon is a resplendent, dazzling body of clear, blue water. However, unlike Crater Lake, which is the largest lake in the U.S., Little Crater Lake is just 100 feet wide and 45 feet deep. It’s a natural wonder itself and it is definitely a bucket list must for all Oregon adventurers! The best part? The hike to Little Crater Lake is less than half a mile long, and there’s no fee to access the trailhead or lake, making it one of the most accessible adventures in Oregon!


Have you visited this beguiling little lake before? While you can’t swim in Little Crater Lake in Oregon, the hike to this little bit of paradise really is one of the most splendid treks in Oregon — and the lake really is easily the coolest (or coldest?) thing you’ll see for free! You can learn more about this Mt. Hood Forest wonder at the USDA Forest Service website.

For more free natural wonders in The Beaver State, be sure to check out these amazing adventures. Then start planning your road trip to Oregon!

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Swimming in the Crater Lakes in Oregon

Can you swim in Crater Lake?

Swimming in Crater Lake is allowed, however, Crater Lake Oregon swimming regulations prevent swimming in most parts of the lake. Cleetwood Cove Trail is the only legal and safe access point to the lakeshore. However, the water temperature is quite chilly. The surface of the lake can warm up to 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, but the dark depths below 300 feet are only 38 degrees.

Can you swim in Little Crater Lake?

Swimming is not allowed in Little Crater Lake because the water temperatures do not warm up like its big brother, Crater Lake. Why is there no swimming in Little Crater Lake? The temperature of Little Crater Lake is near freezing 34 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much too dangerous for swimming.

What are some natural wonders in Oregon?

Oregon is full of beautiful natural wonders that are absolutely awe-inspiring. Whether you love pristine beaches with interesting rock formations, ancient volcanic lakes, or mountains like no other, Oregon is the place to be for scenic views. Here are a few of the many natural wonders in Oregon:


Painted Hills on the Eastern side of the state is a mesmerizing view, with its colorful undulating mounds and far-reaching vistas. Meanwhile, Crater Lake National Park boasts some of the clearest, bluest water you’ll lay eyes on - perfect for a leisurely canoe trip around Wizard Island! But perhaps most spectacularly, is Oregon Coast’s state park system which stretches across the entire coastline and offers stunning views no matter where you look.

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